Eldercare Lighting Design: Why Intensity & Color Matter

As we age, it takes more light to see clearly. That’s why a focus on the lighting of eldercare facilities is so crucial to ensuring the best experience for residents!

Lighting design in eldercare requires attention to both the intensity and spectral distribution of light. Studies show that as people age, their eyes require more light to see – doubling in intensity for every additional decade after 20. Therefore, eldercare facilities must have higher light levels for occupant comfort and activity. Diminished vision and mobility can carry their own set of problems, including falls, which makes having bright, glare-free light critical.

However, it’s not just about brightness. Light fixtures should be positioned to avoid glare and minimize direct exposure to the eyes. Indirect, diffuse lighting from walls and ceilings is a great solution.

eldercare lighting

New technology allows both intensity and lighting spectral distribution (color range) to be centrally controlled or programmed as a feature of modern building management systems (BMS). In complement with light intensity, spectral distribution lighting can be designed to mimic the daily diurnal cycle. Blue and white light in the morning helps encourage activity, while yellow light in the evening encourages a sense of retreat.

Studies have suggested that changing lighting across the course of the day can help in resetting circadian rhythms and positively affect mood, sleep, and daily functioning.  These studies indicated this to be true among Alzheimer’s or related dementias and should be considered in elder care facility lighting design.

eldercare lighting

By paying attention to intensity and color, eldercare facilities can create an optimal lighting environment that promotes both comfort and wellness for their patrons that need it most.

Let’s Partner Up

Don’t wait – Contact our expert team of MEP Engineers to discover how subtle changes and additions to eldercare lighting design can transform your facility and provide the extra care needed for residents!

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